Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research
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Introduction: My pro bono law practice and nursing research with older persons experiencing abuse and intimate partner
violence presented me with challenges and opportunities. When I think of John and Mary and the other cases that I see, I ask
these questions: (1) Who was John?s and Mary?s advocate in their home while abused by their daughter, in the hospital, and in
the nursing facility? (2) Did the family court fail John and Mary to provide safety by dismissing their petition for Protection
from Abuse (PFA) in family court against their daughter? (3) Mary?s fall happened 4?5 minutes after the daughter left the
nursing facility and 1?2 minutes before the nursing facility staff checked on Mary. Is this a coincidence or just perfect timing?
(4) Were Mary?s fatal head injuries consistent with the injuries of an older patient with hip surgery falling out of bed? (5) What
happened to John?
Purpose: The purpose of this podium presentation is to disseminate a policy in line with the Atlantic Philanthropies Health
and Aging Policy Fellows Program.
Methods: Case and policy examples with interactive audience participation will be included along these issues: Strategies
that will ensure that older adults are 1) treated with dignity, fairness and respect; 2) empowered to shape their own futures
however proximate or distant their futures may be; 3) free from physical, mental, emotional and financial violence, abuse, and
neglect including other issues related to elder abuse such as abandonment, exploitation, intimidation, serious bodily injury,
serious physical injury, and sexual abuse; 4) able to access healthcare and support systems; 5) represented by a strong cadre of
advocates, healthcare, social services, and law enforcement staff; and 6) able to contribute actively their expertise and abilities
as long as possible.
Implications: As a nurse, lawyer, and forensic examiner, the implications could reverberate in geriatric education, practice,
and research and serve as a global call to action for all healthcare providers to respond to these issues responsibly, competently,
and with collaboration and consultation with other professionals.
Conclusions: Developing a policy that expands and extends the Older Adults Protective Act is timely and proper.
Rose E Constantino, PhD, JD, RN, FAAN, FACFE, is Associate Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, Department of Health and Community
Systems. She teaches Forensic Nursing. She is the senior editor of Forensic Nursing: Evidence-based Principles and Practice published by F. A. Davis in 2013.
Her pro bono family law practice is founded on her research on the consequences of Intimate Partner Violence on the health, safety and well-being of women, men
and children worldwide. Her current research is in comparing the effectiveness of Online, Mobile and Face-to-Face intervention in women and children in intimate
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